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Winter Olympics: Games open with a glitch but romp on through Russian history

Published on Feb 8, 2014 12:53 AM

SOCHI (REUTERS) – Russia’s Winter Games got off to a shaky start on Friday when one of the five Olympic rings failed to unfurl, but ballet dancers, stirring music and huge mechanical props tracing the host nation’s history propelled the opening ceremony forward.

Only four of the five giant Olympic rings formed from snowflake-shaped structures suspended from the roof of the 40,000-capacity Fisht Stadium in Sochi, meaning the symbol could not be illuminated with fireworks as planned.

The showboat start to a Games that President Vladimir Putin hopes will burnish Russia’s image on the world stage went on without further interruption, with cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who has spent more days in space than anyone, hoisting the Russian flag.

Mr Putin officially opened the Feb 7 to Feb 23 Games to a burst of fireworks that lit up the clear night sky outside the gleaming new stadium located on the shores of the Black Sea.

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